Yosa Buson


(1716 - 1784 )A "Haiku" poet and painter of the middle Edo period who was born in Settsu (now Osaka city). Having been an excellent painter since his childhood, he became successful in the field of "Bunjin-ga" (literati paintings, which were originally paintings produced by literati as a hobby). This genre later became identified with "Nanshu-ga" a style of painting established by the output of two major Chinese landscape painting schools that was introduced into Japan in the mid-Edo period. In the meantime, at the age of about 20 he set out for Edo (the old name of Tokyo) where he studied "haikai" under Hayano Hajin in Nihonbashi..
He urged the revival of "Sho-fu" (The Authentic Style, i.e. the traditional and elegant form of "haiku" composition) and established his own style that celebrated sensuous and romantic nature. Although he is regarded as an emulator of Matsuo Basho, his poetry is closely influenced by his experience as a painter. He is also known as a founder of "Hai-ga", one of the Japanese pictorial art forms consisting of paintings in watercolor or black and white featuring some "haiku" verses or passages that were designed to create refined impressions of the tastes of educated commoners of the period.
Buson's "hokku", are different from Basho's, they do not present a philosophy, nor do they announce with emphatic gestures although his wording is impressively refined in an unprecedented manner. It may be said of Yosa Buson that he had such genius that in describing just one peaceful scene he can inspire us to feel that eternity expands beyond the landscape's horizons. He authored the books "Shin-hanatsumi" (New Florilegium) and "Tamamoshu".


  For More Information >http://www.poemhunter.com/yosa-buson/poems/page-1/
                            2.   http://www.poemhunter.com/i/ebooks/pdf/yosa_buson_2004_9.pdf

The short night
Below are eleven Buson haiku
beginning with the phrase
'The short night--'


The short night--
on the hairy caterpillar
beads of dew.

The short night--
patrolmen
washing in the river.

The short night--
bubbles of crab froth
among the river reeds.

The short night--
a broom thrown away
on the beach.

The short night--
the Oi River
has sunk two feet.

The short night--
on the outskirts of the village
a small shop opening.

The short night--
broken, in the shallows,
a crescent moon.

The short night--
the peony
has opened.

The short night--
waves beating in,
an abandoned fire.

The short night--
near the pillow
a screen turning silver.

The short night--
shallow footprints
on the beach at Yui.



Dawn--
fish the cormorants haven't caught
swimming in the shallows.





A bat flits
in moonlight
above the plum blossoms.

Old well,
a fish leaps--
dark sound.

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